Students to be mentored by businessmen and barristers

Priory School Priory Community School – an Academy Trust – is planning an innovative mentoring scheme for industry experts to mentor students via Skype live from their offices.

The first such scheme of its type could see businessmen, barristers, solicitors, doctors and other professionals talking to 14 and 15 year olds via Skype video phone calls to inspire and educate them about the world of work.

It’s part of a package of measures Priory Community School are working on to develop students during their school years to be ready for the world of work. With youth unemployment standing at one in five 16 to 25 year olds – the worst figures on record – young people are now facing unprecedented situations to find work.

And despite many schools cutting the Connexions service, PSCA as an Academy are expanding their careers work.

Priory now want to explore innovative ways to bridge the gap between school and work – building on the back of exam results which are in the top 6 per cent in the country.

Jane McBride, head of year 11, said: “The idea is for the likes of a doctor to inspire a teenager to want to become a doctor of the future. They could mentor them live on Skype for 20 minutes or so at the start of a day now and again.

“This would form links with the community, the world of work, and also give students confidence and the thought of someone in their dream job cheering them on.”

In another part of the scheme, later this month, Head of Careers Liz Davis will oversee a scheme in which local success stories in industries will inspire students in Period 6 lessons at 3pm. Senior police, a barrister and business bosses are among those inspiring the students.

Liz said: “Priory is among the top few per cent of schools in the country for GCSE Maths and English which is very important but we also recognize that it takes more than just academic achievement to succeed in life.

“We want to develop school leavers who are confident, responsible, ambitious and fully capable of achieving their goals within their chosen career area.

“A major way of supporting this is to bring in tremendously successful local professionals and experts in their field to tell the students their personal story for success and what it takes to work in the various professions. It will be a lot of encouragement with a dose of reality, and this will enable students to be better informed when making their Post 16 option choices.

“We want our students to be totally prepared for joining the workforce of the future.

“Our exam results are outstanding and among the best in the nation. Yet we want to develop the whole person and prepare them to be outstanding in the workplace.

“Priory aims to encourage students that they can pursue their dreams and become the best they can be in what they love doing. Mentoring is just a part of that.”

Any business leader or local successful person wanting to inspire groups of youngsters is asked to contact Liz on 01934 511411. To find out more about priory school visit: http://www.priory.n-somerset.sch.uk/index.shtml

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